Medi-Quote Blog

There is good news for Snowbirds and travellers in this past week as the Canadian Council of Insurance Regulators announced that it will be launching a review of the travel insurance industry. The announcement comes after several high profile cases of denied claims have shaken the public's confidence in travel insurance. At Medi-Quote Insurance Broker's, we have always fought hard to protect our clients and recognize the mistrust many people feel towards the industry. We hope the review succeeds in rebuilding public confidence in travel insurance, as we know from experience how important it is to be able to travel with a sense of security in your travel insurance policy. The below quote is taken from a Globe and Mail article about the announcement.

The first phase of the CCIR’s response is to gather facts. The research will probe into why people are surprised by claims outcomes and whether insurance products are well understood. If they aren’t understood, CCIR will ask why not – is it something in the sales process, or the product itself? An initial report on this subject will be released in the fall of this year.

If a problem is identified, the second phase of action would be to issue a position paper. Sometimes proposed solutions are directed toward policymakers, suggesting changes in laws. Other times, ideally, the industry seizes on the suggestions and makes changes without action from the regulators.

For more on this story check out this article from the globe and mail here, or the announcement from the CCIR here.

Please note that our offices will be closed on Monday, February 16 for the long weekend. While we are closed you can still leave us a voicemail or email us at info@mediquote.ca and we will respond after we are back on Tuesday, the 17th. Thanks everyone and have a great weekend!

Often in the media, we only see stories about travel insurance when something goes wrong. We never hear about the times when everything goes smoothly. Actually, it's estimated that over 95% of travel insurance claims get paid out. Recently a story made the news about one of our own clients who ended up with a huge bill. And guess what? Their bill of over $90,000 was paid without issues. Below is an excerpt from the article. Click here for the full text.

TORONTO - Last winter, Eugene Gushuliak was in the kitchen of his Mexican timeshare when he collapsed and blacked out.

Gushuliak, 73, doesn't remember the events that followed — the ambulance that took him to the Puerto Vallarta hospital, the three specialists enlisted for his care, or the flight that brought him back to Winnipeg.

What he does know is that the three-day hospital stay to treat a heart problem, along with the flight home with his wife, nurse and doctor, added up to $90,000. It was a bill his travel insurance company took care of completely.

Virginia Gushuliak said she and her husband have been vacationing in Mexico for years and have never taken chances when it came to buying travel insurance.

"It's a gamble. You're gambling that you're going to be well," she said.

TORONTO - Last winter, Eugene Gushuliak was in the kitchen of his Mexican timeshare when he collapsed and blacked out.

Gushuliak, 73, doesn't remember the events that followed — the ambulance that took him to the Puerto Vallarta hospital, the three specialists enlisted for his care, or the flight that brought him back to Winnipeg.

What he does know is that the three-day hospital stay to treat a heart problem, along with the flight home with his wife, nurse and doctor, added up to $90,000. It was a bill his travel insurance company took care of completely.

Virginia Gushuliak said she and her husband have been vacationing in Mexico for years and have never taken chances when it came to buying travel insurance.

"It's a gamble. You're gambling that you're going to be well," she said.

- See more at: http://www.timescolonist.com/entertainment/make-sure-your-travel-insurance-policy-fits-your-trip-and-your-health-advisers-1.1650891#sthash.LHyDHPMe.dpuf

TORONTO - Last winter, Eugene Gushuliak was in the kitchen of his Mexican timeshare when he collapsed and blacked out.

Gushuliak, 73, doesn't remember the events that followed — the ambulance that took him to the Puerto Vallarta hospital, the three specialists enlisted for his care, or the flight that brought him back to Winnipeg.

What he does know is that the three-day hospital stay to treat a heart problem, along with the flight home with his wife, nurse and doctor, added up to $90,000. It was a bill his travel insurance company took care of completely.

Virginia Gushuliak said she and her husband have been vacationing in Mexico for years and have never taken chances when it came to buying travel insurance.

"It's a gamble. You're gambling that you're going to be well," she said.

- See more at: http://www.timescolonist.com/entertainment/make-sure-your-travel-insurance-policy-fits-your-trip-and-your-health-advisers-1.1650891#sthash.LHyDHPMe.dpuf

TORONTO - Last winter, Eugene Gushuliak was in the kitchen of his Mexican timeshare when he collapsed and blacked out.

Gushuliak, 73, doesn't remember the events that followed — the ambulance that took him to the Puerto Vallarta hospital, the three specialists enlisted for his care, or the flight that brought him back to Winnipeg.

What he does know is that the three-day hospital stay to treat a heart problem, along with the flight home with his wife, nurse and doctor, added up to $90,000. It was a bill his travel insurance company took care of completely.

Virginia Gushuliak said she and her husband have been vacationing in Mexico for years and have never taken chances when it came to buying travel insurance.

"It's a gamble. You're gambling that you're going to be well," she said.

- See more at: http://www.timescolonist.com/entertainment/make-sure-your-travel-insurance-policy-fits-your-trip-and-your-health-advisers-1.1650891#sthash.LHyDHPMe.dpuf

TORONTO - Last winter, Eugene Gushuliak was in the kitchen of his Mexican timeshare when he collapsed and blacked out.

Gushuliak, 73, doesn't remember the events that followed — the ambulance that took him to the Puerto Vallarta hospital, the three specialists enlisted for his care, or the flight that brought him back to Winnipeg.

What he does know is that the three-day hospital stay to treat a heart problem, along with the flight home with his wife, nurse and doctor, added up to $90,000. It was a bill his travel insurance company took care of completely.

Virginia Gushuliak said she and her husband have been vacationing in Mexico for years and have never taken chances when it came to buying travel insurance.

"It's a gamble. You're gambling that you're going to be well," she said.

- See more at: http://www.timescolonist.com/entertainment/make-sure-your-travel-insurance-policy-fits-your-trip-and-your-health-advisers-1.1650891#sthash.LHyDHPMe.dpuf

Wondering about Changes in Medication?
There are many misunderstandings concerning how changes in medication will affect your travel insurance. In this video we will explain what is considered a change in medication, how it can affect your insurance coverage and what you can do to ensure you are travelling with confidence.[1 second pause]
What is considered a change in medication?
Any of the following would be considered a change in medication:
•    The addition of a new medication
•    Stopping a current medication
•    Either an increase OR a decrease in your current dosage
•    Replacing a current medication with a new medication for the same condition

So, how do changes in medication affect your coverage?
Changes in medication will have an effect on the stability period of the condition the medication is taken for. Any change in medication can be considered a change in treatment. It is important to notify your broker of all medication changes, no matter what kind it is. When it comes to travel insurance, an increase in medication is not necessarily a bad thing, and a decrease or stop in medication is not necessarily positive. For example, a drug that is successfully treating a condition could have serious side effects that necessitate changing its dosage or stopping its use.

Here’s what you can do to make sure you have the right coverage for your situation:
Report any medical changes that have occurred in the past year
If you’ve been to a doctor and they have changed, or suggested a change to your medication, document the change and date and contact your broker to ask if there is any impact to your policy. They can always alter the policy, sometimes even the day you leave. If you don’t you may be travelling with an invalid policy.
Do not disregard your doctor’s advice
Some people refuse treatment or a change in medications against their doctor’s advice because they think it will affect the cost of their travel insurance or that they will be refused coverage.

This is NOT a good idea! In addition to the fact that you may not be receiving the correct treatment for your condition, if a doctor recommends a change in medication, and you do not accept that change, the insurance company will still treat this as an unstable pre-existing medical condition. And in certain situations this may mean that your entire policy is invalid. Ultimately you are in charge of your own health decisions, but do not make a choice regarding your health based on insurance implications.

Be sure to disclose all your medical conditions
Even with a change in medication, you have options. We can help you find a policy that fits your situation, but we are only able to advise you based on the information you provide. By accurately reporting your medical conditions as well as any changes in medications, we can tell you if you have the best coverage before you depart on your trip.

For more information on selecting the right insurance coverage or our other travel insurance topics, please visit our website at www.mediquote.ca

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  • Call when you are staying longer than originally planned in your destination and need an extension.
  • Call if you decide to come home for Christmas when you had originally planned to stay at your destination.
  • Call anytime your actual travel dates do not match the dates on your policy.
  • Call if your health changes before your departure, and you want advice about how it affects the stability for a pre-existing condition.
  • Call if you are leaving soon and do not have your travel insurance yet.

Call us at 1-800-661-3098 for all your holiday travel insurance needs

Holiday Hours:
December 24th until noon CST
Closed December 25th and 26th
December 31st until noon CST
Closed January 1st

It's been a big year for us at Medi-Quote Insurance Brokers as it was our 20th anniversary as a company and we wanted to make it special. We had trips and contests, we did many things to our line of products and much more.

Arizona/Palm Springs trip with Lori, Shirley and Sandy

Each year in February we travel to the US southwest to visit our clients and to meet more Canadian snowbirds. This year, 3 of our brokers, Lori, Sandy and Shirley, made the trip down. For Sandy and Shirley it was their first time representing the company on our annual US trip. We also added Palm Springs/Palm Desert to thye places we setup a booth to meet clients. Our first year at the College of the Desert was a success and we look forward to returning this February.

We posted a full recap of the trip here.

20th Anniversary Alaskan Cruise

In March we celebrated our 20th annivesary by taking an Alaskan cruise with some of our clients. The cruise was a huge success and we knew right away that we wanted to organize more group trips through our travel agency.

You can see the highlights from this trip on a slideshow we posted to youtube.

Our next group trip will be to the Galapagos Islands in May of 2015. You can go here to learn more about that trip.

We moved our Calgary office

In April we moved our Calgary office to a new location. We stayed pretty close to the old location where we were for over 10 years. We are now just around the block, about a 2 minute drive away. The old office was an executive centre that we had to share with many other companies, while the new office is a space that we have all to ourselves. That means more offices for taking appointments and generally a nicer environment for staff and clients. Click here for more on our office move.

Travel Insurance Educational videos

This year we released our own travel insurance educational video series. We made these videos to help people understand different aspects of travel insurance and how it affects them. We hope people find them useful and perhaps can share them with friends who are in need of help with travel insurance.

Here are links to the videos in case you missed them.

Medical Underwriting and travel insurance

Pre-existing conditions and travel insurance

Understanding the costs of travel insurance

Choosing the travel insurance that's right for you

Medication changes and travel insurance

We expanded our range of products

We added more great travel insurance plans with more options for reduced stability periods and also the ability to save money by excluding coverage for pre-existing conditions if needed. We are always trying to strengthen our arsenal of travel insurance plans to fit any situation.

We expanded the functionality of our client portal

We launched our client portal a few years ago and ever since have continued to improve the functionality. This year, the biggest addition was the ability for our clients to track their medical history on the portal. This functionality helps our brokers get an accurate picture of you medical history and when the most recent change occured in order to get you the best coverage. Click here to go to the Mymediquote client portal to see for yourself.

We held some awesome contests

Like we do each year we awarded two tickets to anywhere in continental North America that Air Canada flies to the winner of our refer-a-friend contest. We have always been amazed at the amount of word of mouth recommendations that we get. And we think that should be rewarded. Click here to see the winners of this year's refer-a-friend contest and check back in the spring when we announce the next round of winners. We also ran a Facebook contest in the summer where we gave one lucky client an iPad air! Click here for the winners of the Facebook contest. And click here for our Facebook page.

Our clients continued to love what we do

We have high standards for the service we provide. We do weekly client surveys to find out how we our doing and find that we have been living up to our value proposition. We collect the kinds words of our clients in the testimonials section of our website. We are also proud to report that over 95% of customers surveyed say they would recommend us to a friend. 

We posted exclusive content on our blog

Our blog which can be found at mediquote.ca/blog was recently featured on an infographic of top 100 insurance blogs. Our blog is one of the few in the world that focus on travel insurance from a Canadian perspective. Here are some highlights from the past year.

Canadian woman receives $13,000 in medical bills after polar bear attack - why Canadians need travel insurance when travelling inside Canada

Surprising healthcare stats highlight the rising costs Canadians without health benefits face

Planning to go camping in another province? Don't forget your travel insurance

Know your policy's intoxicant exclusions

Important changes to US/Canada border rules that all Snowbirds need to know about

7 things you need to think about when shopping for travel insurance

Don't forget about your pets when buying travel insurance

Did you know that travel medical insurance is tax deductible?

We want to think all of our staff, suppliers and especially our clients for making 2014 a great year and a great anniversary.

Wondering about choosing the travel insurance that’s right for you?

Many travellers think that they have two choices to consider when buying travel insurance: buy it or don’t. But the truth is that you have a lot of options when it comes to travel insurance, and they can be a bit overwhelming.
Everything from the level of coverage, medical emergencies, trip cancellation, baggage loss, single trip, multi-trip, for you, for your family, or supplemental coverage to top up an existing plan. The best way to get the coverage that is right for you is to explore the options with an insurance professional. By understanding your travel plans and needs we can show you your options and make a recommendation for coverage that fits your needs and budget.

What are Canadians are looking for in travel insurance?
A survey conducted by RSA Travel Insurance of 2,300 Canadians revealed some of the factors that most affect a traveller when purchasing travel insurance:
Coverage - Does it provide the protection I need?
Service - Are there people there to help me when I need them? Am I confident they will be there for me if I need a Claim?
Price - Does it fit within my budget?
     
So, now you know that you have options and what most travellers are looking for in a travel insurance policy. The next question is how do you choose the right coverage for you?
The best approach is to talk to us about your needs. We can show you options on coverage and suggest the best provider to fit your situation.

To properly choose the best travel insurance coverage it helps to assess your needs. Here are some questions to ask yourself:
•    What existing coverage do I have? You may have existing coverage through your employer or a credit card. These policies will cover some, but not likely all of your insurance needs.
•    What activities will my trip involve? Some policies exclude some riskier activities like zip lining or parasailing.
•    Do I have pre-existing medical conditions? Insurance companies have rules about what they will insure you for related to existing medical conditions.
•    Will I be making multiple trips during the year? A multi-trip annual plan can often save you money and hassle.
•    Do I want trip cancellation protection? For some it’s important to know a sudden change in plans won’t leave you paying for a vacation you couldn’t take.
•    What about lost baggage protection? You don’t want a lost or stolen bag to ruin a trip.
We invite you to speak with us. Together we can answer these questions to help you determine your insurance needs.

For more information on selecting the right insurance coverage or our other travel insurance topics, please visit our website at www.mediquote.ca

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If you have paid for a condo rental before departure, and have a signed rental agreement, you may be eligible for trip cancellation or interruption insurance that will reimburse you for those expenses in the event your trip needs to be cancelled or cut short due to unforeseen circumstances.

For people who had difficulty getting coverage for their condo rental in the past, we have some good news, as we now have a plan that allows coverage for your condo rentals even if you are renting from a private individual. Previously there was a restriction that required the condo to be rented from a rental agency or from a company in order to qualify for coverage. Now that condo rentals from individuals is allowed, we can offer coverage to many many more people than before.

Just remember a couple things about insuring a condo rental:

  • It must be paid in full before your departure and not refundable.
  • You need to have receipts showing the amount of the unrecoverable costs,
  • A rental agreement showing terms and conditions.
  • The claim must result for unforeseen circumstances, typically a medical emergency, a death in the family etc. Each policy wording outlines the specific circumstances covered, make sure to discuss that with your broker and read your policy as soon as possible.

Call us to discuss getting insurance for your condo rental this winter at 1-800-661-3098.

Our blog was recently featured on an infographic of the top 100 insurance blogs. We ranked #72 on the list. Click the read more to view the full infographic with the list of top 100 insurance blogs.

 

Top 100 Insurance BlogsAn infographic by the team at Rebates zone.

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Please note that our offices will be closed to observe Remembrance Day. You can leave us a message by calling our toll free number, or by sending an email to info@mediquote.ca and we will get back to you as soon as possible when we return to work on November 12. We thank you for your understanding and hope everyone takes a moment out of their days to remember our nation's soldiers and the price they paid.

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